Critical Incident Stress Response Program
Call the Employee Assistance Program Coordinator (EAPC) in your regional Health, Safety, and Work-Life (HSWL) office to access Critical Incident Stress Response (CISR) services. List of EAPCs.
To access the CG SUPRT Program, call 1-855-CGSUPRT (247-8778)
Who is Eligible for this Program?The Critical Incident Stress Response program is applicable to the following members of Team Coast Guard:
- Exchange System and MWR employees
Purpose of ProgramThe Critical Incident Stress Response (CISR) program is intended to help individuals exposed to critical incidents to identify and cope with their responses to these events. The focus of CISM is to provide “psychological first aid” and to minimize the harmful affects of job stress, particularly in crisis or emergency situations. Critical Incident Stress Response includes pre-incident training and post-incident services.
The Employee Assistance Program Coordinator will ensure CISR confidentiality and effectiveness. No team member shall make any written notes during or about a CISR intervention. An after action report may be used by team members only to discuss at team meetings as to lessons learned about the intervention process. The after action report shall be very generic and shall not include names or any specifics about the intervention.
The following definitions apply to Critical Incident Stress Response Program:
- Critical Incident - Any event with sufficient impact to produce significant emotional reactions now or later. It is generally considered extremely unusual in the range of ordinary human experiences. Examples of critical incidents include the following:
- Crew members death in line of duty
- Children’s death or serious injury
- Multiple fatalities or seriously injured survivors
- Suicide, attempted or completed
- Natural disasters
- Class A or B mishaps involving death or permanent injury and otherwise high emotional impact
- Use of deadly force
- Grotesque injuries
- Acts of terrorism
- Acts of violence resulting in injury or death
- Observing any traumatic event
- Critical Incident Response Team - The Critical Incident Response team normally consists of:
- Team Coordinator (usually EAPC)
- Health Safety and Work-Life Service Center, WL Division (in large scale high visibility events)
- Chaplain, and
- Peers, all of whom have been trained in Critical Incident Peer Support.
The EAPC coordinates, manages, and deploys the CISM Team.
- Psychological First Aid - The basic human responses of comfort and consoling a distressed person; protecting a person from further threat or distress, as far as is possible; furnishing immediate care for physical necessities, including shelter; providing goal orientation and support for specific reality based tasks (“reinforcing the concrete world”); facilitating reunion with loved ones from whom the individual has been separated; facilitating some telling of the “trauma story” and ventilation of feelings as appropriate for the particular individual; linking the person to systems of support and sources of help that will be ongoing; facilitating the beginning of some sense of mastery; and identifying the need for further counseling or intervention. (Raphael et al., 1996, pp. 466–467)
Requesting Services or Resources
CRITICAL INCIDENT REPORTING
To request CISR services, commanding officers and officers in charge can notify either the area or district command center, which will in turn notify the Health, Safety, and Work-Life Office in your region. In general, CISR services or resources can be obtained by contacting the Employee Assistance Program Coordinator (EAPC) on your Regional Work-Life Office. Work-Life Staffs are located at Integrated Support Commands CG-wide and at the Headquarters Support Command.
The following reference provides details of the Critical Incident Stress Management Program:
Related Web Sites
The following web sites provide information related to the Critical Incident Stress Response Program:
- American Red Cross - Provides disaster-related information and resources. Includes a Disaster Online Newsroom on current disasters.
- Army Study To Assess Risk and Resilience in Servicemembers (STARRS) - Army STARRS is the largest study of mental health risk and resilience ever conducted among military personnel. This site already has many resources and links worth exploring and promises to add more over the 5-year span of this important study.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - Emergency Preparedness and Response. This site includes links on each type of natural disaster: earthquakes, extreme heat, floods, hurricanes, landslides and mudslides, tornadoes, tsunamis, volcanoes, wildfires, and winter weather. Very comprehensive with lots of useful just-in-time information.
- Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress - Provides a wealth of information helpful to both individuals and communities dealing with the effects of critical incidents. Includes an excellent collection of just-in-time fact sheets.
- Defense Centers of Excellence (DCoE) for Psychological Health and Brain Injury - DCoE’s mission: assesses, validates, oversees and facilitates prevention, resilience, identification, treatment, outreach, rehabilitation, and reintegration programs for psychological health and traumatic brain injury to ensure the Department of Defense meets the needs of the nation's military communities, warriors and families. This site has many helpful links related to assisting persons impacted by critical incidents.
- Employee Assistance Program Coordinator (EAPC) - The EAPC within HSWL is responsible for coordinating responses, in collaboration with appropriate commands.
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) - The Federal government’s main website for current disaster-related information. Contains many pages of useful information and links.
- Incident Management Handbook - Click on Library > Incident Command System > scroll to Job Aids.
- National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) - Phone: 1-800-35-NIOSH. Provides many resources on the subjects of Workplace Safety and Health including Emergency Preparedness and Response.
- Navy Operational Stress Control (OSC) Official Blog Site - Has tips and ideas for controlling stress. Be sure to scroll to the cartoons. This is a new site that will be developed further. Note: the social media links do not work on CG computers.
- Psychological First Aid: Field Operations Guide - this site is sponsored by the Veterans Administration’s National Center for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It provides a wealth of just-in-time information including a great collection of related handouts.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMSHA) - This Department of Health and Human Services website offers plenty of Mental Health and CISM-related resources including separate pages on Disaster Readiness and Response, the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, and Suicide Prevention.
Point of Contact
The Employee Assistance Program Coordinator within HSWL is responsible for coordinating responses, in collaboration with appropriate commands. Click here to find the number to your EAPC. If you need additional assistance, contact the Program Manager, Jose Jasso, 202-475-5156.